Bob ARum, Dana White. Photos: YouTube, MMAnytt

Boxing promotor Bob Arum lashes out at Dana White: “Very little respect”

"This kind of cowboy behavior doesn’t do anybody any good."

It’s safe to say that Bob Arum and Dana White weren’t going to be sending each other Christmas cards anytime soon. 

It’s fight week, despite how strange as it me be to state during a global pandemic. As it stands right now, the UFC will be the first major sports organisation to return to live shows since the Covid-19 outbreak. The newly re-branded UFC 249 will take place in Jacksonville, Florida, though the UFC on Saturday, May 9th. While MMA fans have rejoiced, there are several people who have voiced their concerns.

Unsurprisingly, the UFC has it’s rivals and naysayers in the boxing world. Renowned boxing promotor Bob Arum has been at odds with UFC president Dana White for several years. Their feud seems to go beyond the two being rivals, however. Recently Arum spoke out about UFC 249 going ahead, and he was cautious abotu the subject to say the least.

“Good luck to them,” Arum said in an interview with “I just hope that they’re not endangering the safety of anyone. But this kind of cowboy behavior doesn’t do anybody any good.


“We’re looking now with Nevada, which we’ll do in a sensible way, or California. We’re working with (Nevada Athletic Commission executive diretor) Bob Bennett and (California State Athletic Commission executive officer) Andy Foster, and we’re talking to the Texas commission. We’re only gonna do this if it’s safe for the fighters and everyone involved, and if it’s approved by the medical authorities.

“We’re not gonna be cowboys, like Dana White. I don’t wanna get politics involved, but I have really very little respect for Dana and what he’s doing.”

Arum pointed out the failed plans for holding UFC 249 at the Tachi Palace Casino and Resort in California. While very much sticking to his guns of not shedding any positive light on White or the UFC, Arum did point out some very realistic health concerns as well.

“For example, (the UFC) wanted to do this fight in California and they were prevented by the governor and by senator (Dianne) Feinstein going to ESPN and having Dana pull (the event).

“It turned out one of the fighters, in fact, tested positive afterwards for coronavirus. You know, if we get something like that on one of Dana’s shows, and God forbid there’s a serious incident of spreading the disease, it doesn’t do well for anybody who’s involved with sports.”


As of now, UFC 249 will be headlined by an interim lightweight title fight between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje. The bout has been hailed as one of the most violent match ups in the modern era of the UFC. Ferguson’s and Gaethje’s resumés certainly make a case for that statement, with both owning several brutal, bloody finishes. The co-main event also features a title fight, as bantamweight king Henry Cejudo puts his belt on the line against former champ Dominick Cruz.

How do you think Dana White will respond to the criticism from Bob Arum?

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With roots in muay thai and as an avid combat sports fan, Sebastian Vendel-Martinez grew up while the MMA scene was blossoming in Sweden. He became part of the MMAnytt team in 2012 and has gone on to become one of the most prominent MMA reporters in Scandinavia. Currently he continues to work as a writer, reporter, video producer/editor and head editor for